45 Years


Tom Courtenay and Charlotte Rampling in 45 Years

Entering the theater yesterday, it felt like I was at the bridge club–once again I was the youngest one there.

This years’ indie hit, 45 Years, is a story about a couple who are approaching their 45th wedding anniversary when they get word about something that happened to the woman the Jeff, (Tom Courtenay) the husband, had gone with 5 years before he married Kate (Charlotte Rampling).

Jeff seem weak, old and dispirited.  Kate is more vital, tenderly caring for Jeff in his apparent dotage.  Yet she is consumed with interest in the story of Jeff’s earlier love, although they have been married close to half a century.

The movie is typical foreign film fare: slow takes, lush scenery, dour weather to match the mood of the story.  For the first 15 minutes it was exceptionally hard to understand the dialogue given the thick accents and murmured idiomatic speech.  Then somebody went to the office and made them turn up the volume–or they figured out that the theater was full of old folks.

The final sequence is at Jeff and Kate’s 45th wedding anniversary party, by which time Jeff has gotten a shave and a haircut and lost 20 years.  He is suddenly peppy, active and alert in a transformation that makes little sense.

Last week somebody sent me a tacky meme about the new football ref that pretty much sums up this entire movie:


I guess you could say we were disappointed with 45 Years.


One thought on “45 Years

  1. Are’nt we glad that people think so differently? I could not disagree more with your review, but I can understand how audiences who are not really comfortable with British cinematic conventions might find it slow and even impenetrable. I think it is an outstanding fim for reasons set out at http://richardalaba.com/2016/02/01/45-years-2015/ I’d love you to have a read and see if you agree or are standing firm. I’ll be following your work in future.

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